Cave Densities By State By County

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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 6, 2014 1:43 pm

Extremeophile wrote:I'm not really sure who goes ridge walking in areas they aren't familiar with


I do! I wouldn't use cave entrance density statistics to help me pick a spot though. There are much better ways.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby Extremeophile » Aug 6, 2014 2:05 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:I do! I wouldn't use cave entrance density statistics to help me pick a spot though. There are much better ways.

Maybe areas with high cave entrance density are high precisely because they have already seen a lot of ridge walking. :shrug:
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 6, 2014 2:16 pm

Yep.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby CaverCSE » Aug 7, 2014 7:35 am

I thought Alabama counted anything 30ft long or 30ft deep as a cave. Tennessee only counts 50ft long caves, 40ft deep caves, or 30ft deep pits. Tennessee also doesn't count karst features. The reason TN has so many caves is actually due to the thin layer of fractured sandstone in the Hartselle Formation that can form hundreds of short-ish caves in a tiny area with mostly stable entrances. Also, you could plot out the state's counties with respect to distance from Marion O. Smith's house and see that they progressively get less caves the further away since he's the most obsessive ridge walker in the state who turns everything in...

Putnam County will probably have over 100 new caves this next TCS thanks to a bunch of us starting to ridge walk more...
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby trogman » Aug 7, 2014 9:24 am

CaverCSE wrote:I thought Alabama counted anything 30ft long or 30ft deep as a cave. Tennessee only counts 50ft long caves, 40ft deep caves, or 30ft deep pits. Tennessee also doesn't count karst features.


Nope. It has been 50' minimum for as long as I can remember, AFAIK since the very beginning. The definition was refined in the last few years, actually a couple of times, but the 50' min. is still there.
I was the one who proposed the refinement about 5 years ago, and then a couple of years ago it was refined a little more. There were more than a few who thought that the requirements should be even more stringent.

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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby CaverCSE » Aug 7, 2014 11:20 pm

I completely forgot that it was 50ft for Alabama... Of course if you want to get picky, if you have a cave with 50ft of total traversable passage in the form of a pit under 30ft deep with less then 50ft of passage and less then 40ft of total depth then it wouldn't count in Tennessee so Alabama would need to delete any of those for a proper comparison...
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby MUD » Aug 11, 2014 10:26 am

:big grin: That PA. data is not right so please don't believe it! The definition of what qualifies as a cave varies from some counties to others. It all depends on who's doing the publishing lol. For example....Westmoreland County lists 330 caves and if by their definition of what qualifies as a cave is true then Huntingdon County has thousands of caves. So would all the surrounding counties. A hike up the side of any of those mountains in that region will have you going down so many holes in the rocks you'd get tired of it! You'd also be tired of finding bear, bobcat and rattlesnake caves lol. I know a few places myself where you can go a good ways into and through those talus caves. They are not listed as caves anywhere! I guess to some they're caves but not what I want to spend time in. I know for fact that the greatest number of limestone caves are within an hours drive of Mt. Union which is on the Huntingdon/Mifflin County line.

Looking at square mileage of these counties and their limestone cave count will show cave density. My files have 97 actual limestone caves for Mifflin County which at 415 square miles is somewhat smaller than some of those counties. I do not count caves that were quarried away or exist in folklore like some of the county database stewards do lol. There are also caves in Blair, Huntingdon, Fulton and Centre counties that are not in the database for various reasons. Some of these counties also list caves that no longer exist.

So while the list you posted could possibly be a guide of some sort I wouldn't fully rely on what's published there.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby Caving Guru » Aug 11, 2014 7:08 pm

Cavemud wrote::big grin: That PA. data is not right so please don't believe it! The definition of what qualifies as a cave varies from some counties to others. It all depends on who's doing the publishing lol. For example....Westmoreland County lists 330 caves and if by their definition of what qualifies as a cave is true then Huntingdon County has thousands of caves. So would all the surrounding counties. A hike up the side of any of those mountains in that region will have you going down so many holes in the rocks you'd get tired of it! You'd also be tired of finding bear, bobcat and rattlesnake caves lol. I know a few places myself where you can go a good ways into and through those talus caves. They are not listed as caves anywhere! I guess to some they're caves but not what I want to spend time in. I know for fact that the greatest number of limestone caves are within an hours drive of Mt. Union which is on the Huntingdon/Mifflin County line.

Looking at square mileage of these counties and their limestone cave count will show cave density. My files have 97 actual limestone caves for Mifflin County which at 415 square miles is somewhat smaller than some of those counties. I do not count caves that were quarried away or exist in folklore like some of the county database stewards do lol. There are also caves in Blair, Huntingdon, Fulton and Centre counties that are not in the database for various reasons. Some of these counties also list caves that no longer exist.

So while the list you posted could possibly be a guide of some sort I wouldn't fully rely on what's published there.


All of the total cave numbers for each Pennsylvania county came directly from the Pennsylvania 2013 NSS Convention Guidebook so if you have a problem with the total cave numbers then you should address your problems to the people who wrote the Pennsylvania 2013 NSS Convention Guidebook (Kimberley A. Opatka-Metzgar and Thomas J. Metzgar) and not me.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby MUD » Aug 11, 2014 8:34 pm

Loosen up there Guru as I wasn't stating a problem to you for your expert answer. Just letting you know that data isn't correct. LOL, sorry I mentioned it. :waving:
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby Caving Guru » Aug 11, 2014 9:05 pm

Cavemud wrote:Loosen up there Guru as I wasn't stating a problem to you for your expert answer. Just letting you know that data isn't correct. LOL, sorry I mentioned it. :waving:


I know, of course, Mud, that each state's data that I have is not perfect. I was simply copying data from the book so I would not say that I had an "expert answer" as you put it either. Anybody could have done what I did but I was the one willing to spend many hours putting it all together.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby MUD » Aug 12, 2014 6:10 am

:laughing: That 'expert' answer quote was a joke. You shouldn't believe everything you read.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby Caving Guru » Aug 12, 2014 6:40 am

Cavemud wrote::laughing: That 'expert' answer quote was a joke. You shouldn't believe everything you read.


Well, I am sorry but I did not find "your joke" post to be funny at all. Maybe next time before you post a joke post, you think about if the person you are directing the post toward will actually think that it is funny. The average joke that most people find funny, I usually don't find funny.
Last edited by Caving Guru on Aug 12, 2014 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby MUD » Aug 12, 2014 6:48 am

:laughing: :funny post:
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby Caving Guru » Aug 12, 2014 11:41 pm

Cavemud wrote::laughing: :funny post:


Well, Cavemud, I am sure that you would be laughing your head off also if someone told you that what you had been working on for over 20 hours total over several days was totally wrong.
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Re: Cave Densities By State By County

Postby MUD » Aug 13, 2014 9:17 am

:roll:

:doh: I never said it was 'totally wrong'. You can believe what's printed in that guidebook all you want as it has no bearing on what I do or ever will. Having grown up in central PA. and caving there for over 42 years I think I may know a little more than you on the subject. I was just letting you know that the data isn't right for some counties listed there. I'm sure Tom & Kim pulled that data from the PA. state cave database or their own MAKC files. That's fine for them but not for me as I know better.

You have no idea what's NOT in that guidebook lol. That would be because certain cavers who love to publish everything they find are not involved. I go with the landowner's wishes and always have. If they don't want anyone to know of features on their land then I'm certainly not going to do a write-up and publish it. My ego doesn't need stoked that way lol. :big grin:
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